Oxalate (or oxalic acid) is a compound found in a variety of plant-based foods. Under a microscope, oxalates are jagged in structure and look somewhat crystalline.
During metabolism, oxalic acid combines with other minerals like calcium, sodium, magnesium, and potassium to form compounds like calcium oxalate and sodium oxalate in the kidneys. This in turn may be responsible for mineral deficiencies.
One of the most common issues with increased oxalates in the urine (hyperoxaluria) is the formation of kidney stones. However, if the body struggles to eliminate oxalate it can accumulate as crystals anywhere in the body. Commonly it accumulates in blood, then the eyes, bones, skin, muscles, blood vessels, heart and other organs.
High oxalates have also been linked with autism and inflammatory bowel disease. It can also be an underlying issue in those with ongoing gut problems or irritable bowel syndrome.
Tissue destruction, fibromyalgia and autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus are all issues that can be related to oxalates because oxalate in tissues trigger the inflammasome reactions of the body’s innate immune system.
As a side note, the thyroid will also suffer as oxalates can bind to T3 and disturb thyroid function.
The following list of vegetables should be helpful in identifying foods high in oxalates
As you can see from the list above your favorite spinach (> 900 mgs of oxalates) green smoothie may be contributing to a host of health issues!
Low oxalate diets involve eating less food that’s high in oxalates. Foods high in oxalates include certain types of fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains, and legumes.
On a low oxalate diet, you should limit your oxalate to 40 to 50 mg each day.
Whether for kidney stone prevention or to address other possible chronic health conditions, a low oxalate diet may be the solution. On a low oxalate diet, you may notice a decreased risk of kidney stones, improved mineral absorption, diminished joint and muscle pain, improvement in fibromyalgia, autism symptoms and improvement of autoimmune symptoms.
ORIGINAL POST – https://www.functionalmedicineuniversity.com/public/1734.cfm
With all the craze about the ketogenic diet it would behoove one to know if they are a candidate for this type of diet.
First for those not familiar with the ketogenic diet here is a short summary:
The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, adequate-protein, low-carbohydrate diet that in medicine is used mainly to treat hard-to-control epilepsy in children. Here are 8 additional benefits:
Triglycerides Tend to Drop Drastically
Increased Levels of ‘Good’ HDL Cholesterol
Reduced Blood Sugar and Insulin Levels
May Lower Blood Pressure
Effective Against Metabolic Syndrome
A Greater Proportion of Fat Loss Comes From Your Abdominal Cavity
Improved ‘Bad’ LDL Cholesterol Levels
Therapeutic for Several Brain Disorders (Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease)
Now with all of these benefits the scientific literature has investigated if indeed this type of diet is beneficial for all people.
Well it may ultimately come down to your genes. Most specifically, your APOE genotype.
The three different types of APOE genes are as follows:
APOE2 – Best suited to a High Fat / Low Carb Diet (saturated fats are good) APOE3 – Suitable For Both APOE4 – Best Suited For A High Monounsaturated Fat / Low Carb Diet (Avoid Saturated Fats)
Research studies have shown that APOE4 carriers are most effected by high cholesterol, and benefit more from a low saturated fat diet, instead using monounsaturated fats, low carb diet, whereas APOE 2 carriers suit a high fat low carb diet, regardless of the saturated fats.
So what should you do?
Ask your doctor to order the APOE genotype blood test and see if you are in fact a carrier of the APOE4 gene.
If you are a carrier of the APOE4 gene, I recommend decreasing your consumption of saturated fats and focus more on monounsaturated fats.
ORIGINAL POST – https://www.functionalmedicineuniversity.com/public/1721.cfm
An athletic 20 year man is playing basketball and suddenly collapses on the court and dies.
On a hot July day, a young and vibrant college football player suddenly makes a great tackle and never gets up.. only to be pronounced dead 5 minutes later.
High School track runner dies after finishing second in a race. The sad truth is 1 out of 50,000 young adults will fall victim to Sudden Death. Most sudden deaths have been linked to a thickened, enlarged heart called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), or by a condition that disturbs the rhythm of the heart called an arrhythmia.
When one sweats, a significant amount of magnesium is lost.
Magnesium is the most under-recognized electrolyte disorder in the U.S. Dr. Mildred Seelig, one of the country’s leading authorities on magnesium suggests that 80%-90% of the population is deficient is magnesium It is beyond the extent of this article why the public is being denied the truth of the seriousness of magnesium deficiency and sudden death. The amount of medical research could fill a book, but it is unfortunately being ignored.
According to Micheal A. Brodsky M.D., associate professor of medicine at the University of Medicine and the director of the Cardiac Arrhythmia Service at the University of California, mineral imbalances interfere with the heart’s normal nerve function. While most athletes have been conditioned to drink a potassium rich drink after sweating, very few have been educated on the dangers of a magnesium deficiency. Dr. Brodsky states that arrhythmia therapy should focus on replenishing two key minerals: potassium and magnesium.
Almost all physicians have known for some time just how vital potassium is for normal heartbeat. Magnesium is an entirely different story, however. According to Carla Sueta M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of medicine and cardiology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine “apparently, many doctors still don’t realize how important a role this mineral can play in some heart patients.
In fact, most never check the magnesium level. She has shown through her research that magnesium reduced the incidence of several types of ventricular arrhythmia by 53 to 76 percent. Magnesium deficiency can be induced by the very drugs meant to help heart problems. Some types of diuretics (water pills) cause the body to excrete both magnesium and potassium, as does digitalis. And magnesium deficiency is often at the bottom of what’s called refractory potassium deficiency. The amount of magnesium in the body determines the amount of a particular enzyme that determines the amount of potassium in the body,” he explains. So if you are magnesium-deficient, you may in turn be potassium-deficient, and no amount of potassium is going to correct this unless you are also getting enough magnesium.
The Best Test To Determine Your Level of Magnesium
Although most physicians rarely check this important mineral, the few that do usually rely on test called Serum Magnesium. Unfortunately, this test only measures approximately 1% of the magnesium in your body; a poor test at best. The “Gold Standard” and the most accurate test is the RBC Minerals or more commonly called Elemental Analysis in Packed Erythrocytes.
This test examines the levels of eight minerals and seven toxic heavy metals. The erythrocyte is the red blood cell that floats in our serum to carry oxygen to our cells. The minerals this test analyzes from inside the red blood cell includes magnesium, manganese, molybdenum, potassium, selenium, vanadium and zinc. Another test which has proven to be extremely valuable in detecting magnesium deficiencies is called the Urine Magnesium.
In this test, the patient collects a 24-hour urine sample and the total magnesium is measured. The patient is then given a dose Magnesium Chloride 18% and another 24-hour urine specimen is collected. The magnesium is again measured. If the body retains more than a certain amount of magnesium, then it is concluded that the body is magnesium deficient.
Common Symptoms of Magnesium Deficiency
The most common symptoms include back and neck pain, muscle spasms, anxiety, panic disorders, Raynaud’s spastic vessels, arrhythmia, fatigue, eye twitches, vertigo, migraines.
Best Sources of Magnesium
The best way of insuring enough magnesium is to eat a variety of whole foods, including whole grains, nuts, seeds and vegetables, preferably food grown on naturally composted soil. The green color of green vegetables is due to chlorophyll, which is a molecule that contains magnesium. Avoid refined processed foods, especially white sugar and white flour products, as most magnesium is removed from them.
Here is an excellent form of magnesium I recommend
NutriCology’s Magnesium Chloride Liquid 8 fl oz
Dr. Grisanti’s Comments:
If you are suffering with a heart problem and have not had your magnesium checked, then I want to urge you to have your physician order the two tests listed above. Unless you have proof that your magnesium is within normal levels, I want you to realize that you are playing with your health!
ORIGINAL POST – https://www.functionalmedicineuniversity.com/public/1294.cfm
Want to know about an exercise that can lower blood pressure significantly? We’re talking as much as 10-20 mmHg. No, it’s not an endurance exercise. No, it’s not strength exercise. It’s actually an exercise you can do anytime and anywhere. It’s called isometrics.
What are Isometric Exercises?
Isometric exercises, the kind where you contract large muscles without actually moving the body part, may help reduce blood pressure in healthy people, a study shows. And something as simple as squeezing your inner thigh muscles together while you sit would qualify.
That’s right. Isometric exercises can be done anytime, anywhere, and they don’t require you to bend or lift. In a handful of studies, folks with normal blood pressure who did three 15 to 20 minutes sessions of isometric exercises every week for 10 weeks experienced more than a 10-point plunge in their systolic blood pressure. And their diastolic pressure fell almost 7 points. Not bad for not lifting a finger! Simple things like doing a static hand grip, flexing the bottoms muscles, or doing leg squeezes all count. In the research, the three weekly sessions included doing multiple 2-minute rounds of isometric exercises like those, with 1 to 3 minute rests in between.
In one study a hand grip spring dynamo-meter was used for IHG (Isometric Handgrip) exercise training. A total of 30 normal healthy volunteers in the age group of 20-40 y were enrolled for the study. Exercise training protocol consisted of five 3-min bouts of IHG exercise at 30% of maximum voluntary contraction separated by 5 min rest periods. The exercise was performed 3 times/wk for 10 wk. Subject’s blood pressure was measured before and after exercise.
There was a significant reduction in resting blood pressure following 10 wk of exercise training. Both Systolic and Diastolic blood pressure reduced significantly.
In the mid-1970s, the U.S. Air Force asked Dr. Ronald Wiley, an expert in heart and lung physiology, to find a way to keep fighter pilots from losing consciousness when flying the F-16 fighter. This jet could accelerate so fast that the G-forces it generated made it difficult for the pilot’s heart to pump blood to the brain, causing vision problems, trouble thinking, and blackouts.
One of Wiley’s strategies was a hand grip that pilots could squeeze to boost their blood pressure enough to maintain circulation to the brain. As he worked with pilots, he was struck by a contradiction ” Those who practiced with the hand grip for a few weeks lowered their resting blood pressure.
Types of Isometric Exercise
Lie down in the push-up position and place your elbows under your chest. Rest your body on the floor. Now, the entire weight of your body will be concentrated on your forearms. Push up your body and count to 10. Hold this position for 10 seconds and repeat 2 to 3 times. This is one of the simplest forms of isometric exercises, and it can be performed daily.
Isometric Push Up
Get into the pushup position as before and lie down with your arms extended. Lower your body to the halfway position and hold for about 10 seconds or count slowly until 10. This exercise can be repeated for 2 or 3 times, depending on your fitness level. Most isometric exercises are not very tiring, but you must take it slowly if you’re a beginner.
Isometric Bicep Exercise
This is the simplest type of isometric exercise, and it can be easily done at the office. Put your hands under the desk and place them against the tabletop, with your palms up. Now, press against the tabletop, keeping your elbows tight against your ribs. Hold your hands in this position for 10 seconds or count slowly until 10, and then repeat 2 to 3 times.
Isometric Shoulder Raises
For this exercise, you will need a pair of dumbbells. Hold one dumbbell in each hand and stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Raise both arms upwards from the side until they’re parallel to the ground. Hold them in this position for about 10 to 25 seconds, and repeat 2 to 3 times. If you find it difficult to raise both hands at the same time, you can start by raising one hand at a time.
The ball squeeze exercise requires only a tennis ball or any other small ball. Hold the ball in one hand and squeeze it for 60 to 90 seconds. Place the ball in your other hand and repeat the squeeze for the same amount of time. Repeat the exercise three times with each hand.
Athletic Gripper Hold
Athletic grippers can be found at nearly any sporting good store. Grippers generally come in different resistances so you’ll have to choose one appropriate for you. Ideally, you should use one that you are able to squeeze for two minutes before your muscles fatigue. Hold the athletic gripper in one hand and squeeze it for two minutes then switch hands and repeat the exercise. Complete the exercise twice with each hand.
Practicing isometric exercises offers various benefits to our body and they are:
Isometric exercises help in strengthening and conditioning muscles.
They aid in strengthening dormant muscle tissues on isolated muscles.
They improve one’s control over the body.
Improve body posture and spine alignment.
Help in preventing injury.
These exercises are used in injury rehabilitation.
Help in the development of lean muscles.
Improve bone density and make them strong.
Increase resistance power and endurance ability.
These exercises activate all the major units in the body.
These exercises can be done anywhere and anytime.
Most isometric exercises do not require any equipment, or at most a set of dumbbells is enough.
Help in graceful aging, keeping body posture straight and erect even in the old age.
These exercises can also be done by elderly people and are considered good for them.
As with any new exercise routine please speak with your family practitioner to see if you are able to start this practice. For those diagnosed with high blood pressure, I would start with the isometric hand grip exercises. Isometric exercises using the plank or weights can cause spikes in blood pressure. Again please consult your physician.
ORIGINAL POST – https://www.functionalmedicineuniversity.com/public/1278.cfm
Magnesium is probably the greatest predictor of all aspects of heart disease. Approximately more than 50% of Americans are deficient in this mineral. Magnesium plays a key role in more than 350 enzymes and is involved in virtually every metabolic process occurring in the body.
Studies have suggested an association between low serum magnesium levels and cardiovascular disease. Low magnesium intake has also been associated with future risk of hypertension and stroke. Furthermore, numerous studies have shown that low serum magnesium is associated with vascular calcification, but there have been no studies examining a relationship to coronary artery calcification.
In a study published in Nutrition, Metabolism & Cardiovascular Diseases, researchers analyzed 34,553 participants who underwent coronary multi-detector computed tomography and serum magnesium level measurement from 2010 to 2012 as part of a health examination program. According to the analysis, low serum magnesium was associated with coronary artery calcification after adjustment for age, sex, BMI, diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, systolic blood pressure, LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, eGFR, serum calcium and phosphorus, hs-CRP, current smoking status, alcohol intake and vigorous exercise frequency.
Low serum magnesium was significantly associated with coronary artery calcification for those at low risk for developing cardiovascular disease. This association was significant after adjustment for various risk factors related to cardiovascular disease and was even withheld in groups without risk factors such as hypertension, diabetes, and obesity.
Keep in mind that serum magnesium only represents only 1% of magnesium stores. Magnesium is homeostatically controlled in the serum and measuring serum magnesium levels provides many false negatives. By the time an individual’s serum magnesium is low, they are very deficient in magnesium, as the body cannot maintain the serum magnesium levels. RBC magnesium is definitely a better choice and the most accurate test we have. This can be done by most laboratories.
We have seen decades of increased dietary calcium intake in the American population that has not been balanced with an increase in dietary magnesium intake, and as a result the majority of adults have become magnesium deficient. Dietary calcium-to-magnesium ratios have continued to increase and studies are showing that calcium supplements not balanced with magnesium actually contribute to an increase in the risk of heart disease.